The Major Philosophical Themes Of Absurdism English Literature Essay

I am traveling to analyze the major philosophical subjects of Absurdism and Nihilism in The Outsider and Crime and Punishment severally. Both novels revolve around characters who search for intending to their lives and being. Both characters are unconventional, lone immature work forces who during an oppressively hot summer commit slaying and are brought to justness. In The Outsider, this battle is conveyed through the Philosophy of The Absurd and in Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky uses the philosophy of Nihilism, the thought of being without significance, to show that through agony and penalty, salvation can be achieved.

Using graphic imagination and strong word picture, Camus draws on Absurdism as a philosophical motion and its hunt for significance in the human being. It is a vision of a irreverent life and being as a set of random events where the lone true significance is the physical experience during one ‘s life and the inevitableness of decease. These subjects are conveyed through the cardinal character of Meursault.

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In The Outsider, Camus, uses the first individual narrative Meursault is portrayed as a modern twenty-four hours Sisyphus, who lives his life outside society ‘s codifications and rites. He is a adult male who ‘does non play the game ‘ . He lives in a universe of physical experience and is apathetic to all human relationships. Philosophically, this Absurdism is defined as ‘contrary to ground or beyond the bounds of reason ; self-contradictory, absurd, or meaningless. ‘ It contrasts with the Socratic position that adult male has a moral duty to populate ‘a good and booming life ‘ . Camus suggests that life is absurd and adult male must accept and encompass this absurdness. Camus ‘ background contributed to this doctrine, ‘Poverty was ne’er a bad luck for me, it was beaming with life ‘ , ‘the Sun and the sea cost nil. ‘ He enjoyed all the cardinal pleasances that life had to offer.

The Outsider was published in 1942 during the war old ages, at a clip of rebellion, decease and expatriate, which helped reenforce Camus ‘ positions of being in a irreverent universe, where decease is an of all time present random event.

Throughout the novel we are able to analyze Meursault ‘s societal and psychological features. He is non merely detached from society but besides from the universe around him. For him there is no yesterday and there is no tomorrow ; there is merely today, the now. Meursault is a inactive character. He is apathetic to the emotions of decease, love and friendly relationship, bearing no duty for his actions and guided merely by his experience of populating his day-to-day modus operandi. From the beginning he shows no emotion over the decease of his female parent, ‘Mother died today. Or possibly yesterday, I do n’t cognize ‘ . Meursault shows no compunction when he receives the wire inquiring merely whether she died yesterday or the twenty-four hours before. Furthermore the thought of the deficiency of significance of human being, is reinforced on the twenty-four hours of his female parent ‘s funeral, as he refuses to see her organic structure, moving as though it is merely another twenty-four hours, he ‘smokes coffin nails and drinks java ‘ .

After the funeral he meets Marie Cardona whom he seduces. She asks whether their relationship meant anything to him, he remarks that he sees her as nil particular. ‘I told her that it did n’t intend anything but that I did n’t believe so ‘ . Their familiarity is merely another chance for him to prosecute his passions of the minute, reenforcing Camus ‘ impression that life is a series of existent experiences. Subsequently, when Marie brings up the possibility of matrimony he says ‘It did n’t do any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to ‘ . The lone manner it would count to him, would be if it made Marie happy. His indifference when listening to his neighbour Raymond and when he declines to accept an chance of traveling to Paris portrays him as holding no aspiration and as an perceiver of events around him.

Meursault ‘s senseless violent death of the unknown Arab sends him to imprison. What is affecting is that Meursault shoots once more at the dead, exanimate adult male. There was no evident motivation and he seems to hold acted in the ‘heat ‘ of the minute, with the Sun operating expense with its blinding beams, coercing perspiration into his eyes. He shows no compunction and for this sensed moral unfairness he is hence sentenced by his equals to decease by closure by compartment. While expecting his sentence he appears happy in his cell. Up to this minute Meursault has been free, there has been no demand to be concerned with the hereafter and his lone preoccupation was to see all the pleasances that life can offer. He is unable to explicate his actions in tribunal as he sees no significance in the natural universe around him. The test continues without him of all time giving an sentiment. He does non command his destiny. He remains true to himself and his feelings and refuses to lie in tribunal to get away penalty. Yet, when faced with decease he begins to see the value of each

minute of his life. Because of decease, nil else affairs, except being alive. He does non deny decease as it is inevitable. Meursault is ‘an absurd hero ‘ as life is merely given significance when he is sentenced to decease. The hope of a longer life ( through an entreaty ) brings Meursault great joy, ‘For the first clip in that dark alive with marks and stars I opened myself to the general indifference of the universe… I had merely to wish that at that place be a big crowd of witnesss the twenty-four hours of my executing and that they greet me with calls of hatred ‘ .

In contrast to Camus, Dostoevsky, applies the third-person narration, which at the same clip he intertwines with Raskolnikov ‘s internal soliloquy, supplying different reading to the events.

Dostoevsky, as a politically active immature author, ab initio embraced the thoughts of Nihilism which reject authorization of the province and spiritual conventions in favor of rationalism and single freedom. It is a narrative of the destiny of Nihilism and extremist young person and a vision of the mistake and moral agony of those who stand apart and above the jurisprudence. In Crime and Punishment the cardinal subject is the struggle between adult male ‘s rational and irrational side, between the premeditated and the unpredictable and the true extent of adult male ‘s freedom of action and pick.

Raskolnikov seems to hold two separate characters. “ he is dark, glooming, proud… .. He has a baronial nature and sort bosom ” . His rational and rational half, rooted in the belief of the “ Ubermensch ” makes him perpetrate a premeditated slaying. He sees Alyona, the pawnbroker as a “ louse ” doing injury to guiltless people through her vigorish and justifies her slaying by stating that a ‘tiny offense would be wiped out by 1000s of good workss. ” For Raskolnikov the agency justifies the terminal, ‘It was non a human being I killed, it was a rule ” .

It besides forces him to stand entirely without company and influence of friends. He is wholly self sufficient and above the jurisprudence. He is a Napoleon. Although he tells Porfiry that he is non a Bonaparte he goes on to state him of his theory of the Extraordinary Man. This provides an penetration into his actions taking up to the slaying. He explains that such a adult male is non bound by convention and society and is free to move harmonizing to his ain beliefs.

Through this we see Raskolnikov as an illustration of a extremist nihilist, moving entirely and to the hurt to society and human being. Closely bound to this was Dostoyevsky ‘s thought that salvation could come through agony and confession. Merely so would adult male be able to accomplish significance to his life.

Throughout Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky ‘s usage of word picture is important as it embodies the philosophical position of the doctrines presented. Harmonizing to useful ideals, penalty is the rational manner to forestall farther offense. Punishment deters possible felons through menaces of the effects, nevertheless Dostoevsky believes that, where ground and public-service corporation fail, a alteration of bosom and a moral codification win. After the slaying Raskolnikov falls sick and this febrility heralds a alteration in his character. His rational side gives manner progressively to his irrational half and his sense of confusion and guilt leads to enduring. The thoughts and strong beliefs that he one time clung to look to hold died with the adult female pawn agent. He to declares to Porfiry that all great work forces with something to offer the universe ‘ a ‘new word ” can be above the jurisprudence and will endure for it… ” agony and hurting are ever obligatory on those of broad mind and profound feeling ” .

Porfiry, acts as Raskolnikov ‘s mirror and through him he begins to see that his redemption can merely come through confession and agony. Raskolnikov sees Sonya as a frail figure but who carries a heavy load of enduring. He sees in her all ‘the agonies of humanity ” and admirations if she can ‘bear his ain cross ” . He asks her to read from the bible the Passage of the “ Raising of Lazarus ” . This narrative of how an disbeliever can get the better of agony and decease persuades him to do a confession and seek salvation. When he confronts Sonya and confesses to his offense, she cries, ‘What have you done ‘ what have you done to yourself? ‘ And his response is merely as evident, ‘Did I murder the old adult female? I murdered myself, non her! ‘ It signifies a metempsychosis in Raskolnikov ‘s morality and compassionate beliefs. He hence rejects his old doctrine and accepts his guilt.

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